EXP: Bridging Learning in Urban Extended Spaces (BLUES) 2.0


PIs: Rogers Hall, Andrew Hostetler, David Owens
Vanderbilt University
Award Details

This EXP project will continue collaborations (begun under an EAGER award) among learning sciences researchers, exhibit designers, and curators in library and museum organizations with extensive cultural heritage collections, and community organizations serving the regional area of Nashville. The goal is to develop and study mobile digital technologies that bridge public urban spaces and curated museum / library collections in order to create new types of learning activities. These technologies will enable youth and other city residents (or visiting tourists) to Nashville to create and share digital spatial story lines (DSSLs). DSSLs use personal narratives to map the archival media from the aforementioned curated collections onto city neighborhoods at a walking or biking scale. DSSLs are narrative index and media delivery structures that make vibrant aspects of past and present cultural heritage (e.g., American Roots Music and Civil Rights activism) available at a personal, embodied scale.

As active participation in emerging technologies of this sort becomes an increasingly important means of civic engagement, a critical challenge for democratic societies will be to develop new forms of learning and teaching through which citizens, and especially youth, become fluent with them. This research will further develop theories of the learning processes through which people make places for future activity (e.g., creating tours of historic places, gathering and geocoding data on the ground to influence neighborhood development). The project will further develop archival material as digital sandboxes for storytelling at a regional scale in the Music City, and it will identify and develop concepts in data curation, digital mapping, and spatial analysis for explicit use in making and sharing DSSLs. and design and study how authoring DSSLs can be used to learn about public history, data curation, and digital mapping and analysis. The project will also explore how DSSLs can be leveraged to help users learn not only about public history but also about the concepts and technologies (data curation; digital mapping and analysis) that under-gird the DSSLs themselves. The focus on mobile technologies and digital mapping will advance the understanding of human/computer/environment interactions.

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